Blogger Meet & Greet, Feast & Drink – The Big Paartaaay Bash!

by on August 24, 2008

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Good Morning ! …Oh wait, what time is it? Ugh! It’s 8:30 am and I’m late for work! Weep and pout! I thought I was a lover of logistics and Miss Master at planning out details, but scheduling myself to go to work the day after hosting a big blog party was a seriously bad management decision. I stumbled out of bed, teeter-tottered to the bathroom to fix myself up for another work day and my body was struggling to keep up with slow, fumbling movements. But, my mind was just buzzing, buzzing and still buzzing with excitement about last nights blog party! For all of you who attended, are you still feelin’ it ?!!?

Our first ever, and certainly not last, big food-blogger party was a blast! Yesterday was a marvelous gathering of food folks and we were so thrilled to have everyone over for an awesome meet, greet and feast event. What we experienced yesterday was just a small macrocosm of the kindness and generosity of the food blogging community. Both Todd and I are grateful to be a part of this phenomenal celebration.

So what exactly happened? Almost too much for my champagne, rosé, sauvignon blanc, syrah & cocktail soaked brain to recall. Being Asian and all my ancestors’ feeble ability to hold liquor was showing in my sorry ass Vietnamese genes. All I remember was Leah and Brooke kick starting the party with some magnificent Champagne that they brought and dear Leah kept me occupied with a continuous flow of delicious wine while I was screaming at everyone to get to work.

OMG, the scene in the kitchen was hoppin’ & amazing!!! And I, the ever so gracious Nazi Party Hostess, was barking out orders for everyone to get cooking. After my big announcement of “Hey folks! Welcome to the party, now get off your ass, get into the kitchen and cook! Make your own food, dammit. I need rosemary! Basil! Mint! More herbs! More tomatoes! Grate the cheese! Roll the springrolls!” Within minutes, everyone was participating in a sight that I never expected would ever happen at our parties: all 20 guests were gathering from the garden, chopping, dicing, rolling, frying, grilling and sharing in the most precious moments that I have ever seen in my food life: Total strangers getting together to cook, laugh, share and love. Seriously, my sensitivities got a hold of me. I had my Oprah moment and hid behind my rosemary hedge for a personal, silent cry of happiness and appreciation.

From what I recall, EVERYONE was helping each other in the kitchen, garden and grill. No one would ever believe that this was a group who had just met 30 minutes ago. Here is my feeble, post-party hangover attempt at illustrating what the phenomenal party scene looked like, bullet style:

  • Allison & Son picked the thai basil & mint. This adorable duo arrived in total blogger style, complete with their custom blog t-shirts! Yes, there are SushiDay t-shirts for sale everyone! So cool, I want one Allison! *cough,cough* I wear Medium and Todd wears Large.
  • Brooke collected herbs & dressed the salads. This totally sweet and triple threat, LA based writer knows her food, cooks her food, eats ALL her food and still looks HOT! Damn Brooke, I’m gonna go for an extra run tonight to be able to wear that dress of yours! And you’re so smart too, double damn!
  • Julie and Shilpa took charge of collecting & dicing sweet basil and rolling springrolls. Julie, babe, you and your friend, Shilpa were the light of the party. Both your springrolling skills, energy, smiles and good looks made we wish I was young, good looking and single again! (oops, don’t tell your boyfriends that!)
  • Leah served up the wine and picked thyme and oregano. The wine expert and sommelier of the night, Leah was my right-hand, wine pouring man (actually lady, but “man” rhymes better). She’s another triple threat: food writer, poet (please don’t critique my poetry rhyme) and kick-ass dish washer! Leah, your dish washing skills puts you at the top of every one of our party lists!
  • Marvin & Barbara harvested more Viet herbs for the springrolls and grilled the prawns. The first to arrive, this nice & good looking couple don’t seem like the type of folk that could burn their lumpia. But I watched them carefully at the flatbread station and their’s was one of the best looking ones! Don’t judge them on their lumpia, please. They know how to cook!
  • Mattand Adam picked & sliced tomatoes, herbs and figs. Fun, sweet and knowledgeable, these two guys are super humble and generous. Their beautiful blog is just a small glimpse of their talents and skills. When asked, they were kind enough to share so much of their knowledge with everyone , it’s was inspiring.
  • Mattand Danika picked took charge of picking and cutting the Asian pears. The ones who traveled the farthest to the party (from Seattle) are amazing artists in their on “Wright”. Talented, tall and Brit (Matt), they create beautiful food and are able to reach all the bloody high fruit that us short people can’t reach! They’re perfect for each other!
  • Sarah gave out food gifts to everyone, gathered dirty dishes and her guest helped Sierra hunt down the possums. Sara’s the woman who doesn’t sleep. How can she when she has to moderate all of y’all pictures that you submit?! Be nice to her folks! For someone who works a ton, she sure looks damn good. Again, five more miles for me to run!
  • Toni picked more rosemary and taste tested the sauces. This world traveler has seen, eaten and explored so many parts of the world, it’s inspiring. And here’s a woman who looooves Viet iced coffee! Make that a double for Toni!
  • Wandering Chopsticks fried the garlic shrimp springrolls to a golden crisp. My cutie Vietnamese guest graciously came to my aid at the frying station and relieved me from my greasy duties. She put her expert springrolling skills to work on the couple dozen rolls!
  • My man, Todd, was the absolute best grill man, barista, mixologist and Host! He’s my precious, party-partner in crime and the best host ever!

After the hustle and bustle of prepping was finished (I felt like I was at one of our cooking classes), everyone huddled around the flour dusted flatbread/pizza station and created some of the most delicious grilled flatbreads! I think the best part of it all, another teary Oprah moment, was when everyone gathered around the long communal table to share, laugh, eat and celebrate again. The four whole grilled fished were shared and passed around the big table, family style. What a beautiful sight to see. More of the festivities included a gift exchange, the cutting of fresh jackfruit (donated by Chuck), and a cheese plate full of delicious cheese and tropical fruits. To finish off the evening, Todd showcased his new cocktail creation, the Hanoi Hustle (write up in a later post) and his classic blackberry version of a Tom Collins. There was so many cocktails coming around, I did see a few bloggers double fisting. But I won’t mention names, names, or any names. Then there were those who “shared” with others so they could have several cocktails. Again, we’re not mentioning their name or name.

To my pleasant surprise, there were no wine glass casualties, only a missing paring knife, but we’re sure it’ll come out of hiding after we clear out the party mess. So, Todd and I will have another glass of champagne to toast to all of you who attended, to give a big hug to all of you who couldn’t attend and to more blog parties to come in the future.

The Menu:

Grilled tilapia with lemongrass, shallots and chives, drizzled with spicy, sweet sauce. Grilled Japanese sea bass with garlic, rosemary & lemons: Everyone stripped the four large fish we grilled down to the bare bones!! Even the eyeballs were eaten! You guys rock!!

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Viet Nem Nuong sliders & Grilled prawns

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Viet sliders on “slightly sweet” rolls with Asian BBQ sauce

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Matt’s “slider” Bite

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Burnt Lumpia at the prawn station: Now, why in the hell would we have a guy that burns his Lumpia to be trusted at grilling the prawns, you ask? …

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

…because other than his burnt lumpia, the guy knows his food. Thumbs up! Marvin says it’s time to eat!

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

My hunk, Todd, sharing his cornets, inspired by Thomas Keller. Isn’t he a cutie? I mean, Todd.

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Drool worthy springroll sauces

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Dads favorite: Garlic shrimp springrolls, rolled & fried by WC, Julie & Shilpa

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

The table spread of goodies and the flat bread station. Boobie shots too! Niiiiiice, ladies!

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

TONS of toppings, including lots of heirloom tomatoes & garden sun golds

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

To start: roll the dough

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Next, the homemade marinara sauce….just a bit please,

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Next, comes the tasty toppings..

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

In the BBQ smoker you go…

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Finale! Applause, applause, applause! Eat!

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Fresh Jackfruit, donated from Chuck, from Sunday Nite Dinner’s , jackfruit prize

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

Feasting time, blogger family style

Blogger Party White on Rice Couple

BUT WAIT, one more thing... In all the crazy food sharing, I forgot to bring out my homemade fig balsamic for the cheese plate! Wahhh! Sniff, sniff. It’s sitting here on my counter, waiting for someone to enjoy it with some cheese and wine. I’ll be home shortly, who wants to join us again tonight ?!! :D

Bountiful-Ad

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nikkipolani August 24, 2008 at 10:28 pm

What a spread! And what a fun bunch of people who gathered at your place. Everything looks fantastic!!

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2 Jaden, SteamyKitchen August 24, 2008 at 10:30 pm

I was thinking about you guys ALL NIGHT! Was all excited to come and then had to teach. wahhh….

next time!

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3 Manggy August 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Oowee! It looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I wish I could’ve been there x 1,000. Yeesh. Stupid ticket prices! They should just give them away based on the strength of your desire to go. Hee hee hee. Sliders are one of my biggest weaknesses, as is tomato sauce on flatbread. And prawns, OF COURSE. And fried spring rolls. Are you sure you didn’t make this menu with me in mind?

Maybe you should have given the springroll-frying to Marvin, he would’ve burned those! Ha ha ha.

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4 Kitt August 24, 2008 at 11:01 pm

What a lovely yummy party! I so wish I could have been there.

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5 Toni August 24, 2008 at 11:44 pm

It took me half the day to wake up — I don’t know HOW you managed to go to WORK!!! OW!!!!!
What a great feast you and Todd put on! And you guys are an awesome team. My hat’s off to Todd for cranking out an endless supply of BBQ, cocktails and smiles!
Remember……..San Diego is just a hop, skip and a jump down the road………;-)

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6 Victoria August 25, 2008 at 1:37 am

The spread looks beyond amazing. I’m sure it was a fantastic day. Congratulations. You two are the best most generous folks in the blogosphere.

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7 Ivy August 25, 2008 at 4:14 am

Wish we could share the fun you had. You guys are terrific and such great hosts. Wish we could meet some day.

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8 veron August 25, 2008 at 6:12 am

You guys know how to throw a foodie party! I’m salivating over those grilled prawns and BBQ. Ha..ha…love the boobie shots!

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9 evil chef mom August 25, 2008 at 7:21 am

*sniff…sniff… i missed it!

you two must have thrown a hell of a party… thanks for sharing the pictures, is there any of diane having her oprah moment?

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10 Marvin August 25, 2008 at 7:35 am

Todd and Diane,

You throw THE best parties! All of the food and drinks were spectacular and it was so much fun to meet and eat with everyone! And I was only double-fisting to try and keep up with you, Diane;) Hey, one set of those boobies are my wife’s! She blushed when I showed her this post ;P

Thanks again for everything. And I do mean everything!

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11 White on Rice Couple August 25, 2008 at 7:50 am

Nikkipolani- We really missed you at the party! Hopefully next time you can make it, for sure!

Jaden – We’ll have another one when you’re in town. It’ll be bigger and better!

Manggy- If you were able to come, I’d put both you and Marvin on the prawn station and have you guys battle it out. For sure, next party you’ll be there. We’ll let ya know 3 months in advance so that you can get your airplane ticket.

Kitt- Oh, you were soooo close to coming, but still so far. Again, like Manggy, we’ll let ya know ahead of time so that you can get a good price on a ticket.

Toni- Thanks for coming and sharing your wonderful world travel stories. We’ll be down to see you shortly!

Victoria- If only you were a little closer Vic, you’d be sitting right there with us!

Ivy- We look forward to meeting you one day too!

Veron- The boobie shots are fun, huh? But focus on the FOOD, please! ;)

ECM- Heck no! I was the one holding the camera! I do cry alot. I’m emotional.

Marvin- Hah! I didn’t mention any names! But remember, I spilled half of mine on the floor, so does that count? We really should have had someone take that “double fisting” picture when we were toasting. Oh, we’re those your wifes set? Niiiice!

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12 Sandie August 25, 2008 at 8:50 am

Oh man! Now I’m really sad I wasn’t able to join you!
This sounds like a seriously terrific party… the food… the company… the mojo…
Glad everyone had such an awesome experience. How neat! I would LOVE to gather with a big group of fellow foodie bloggers like that! Next time.. next time…

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13 Leah August 25, 2008 at 9:14 am

That was such an amazing party. I was truly honored to attend and had a blast eating and talking and hanging out with people who don’t think it’s weird when you bust out a camera to take a picture before a bite! Thank you so much to our amazing hosts, T & D, you rock. Good food and good, new friends. What more can a girl ask for? Thank you.

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14 grace August 25, 2008 at 9:53 am

looks like ya’ll had a fabulous time! i think round 2 is definitely in order. :)

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15 Brooke August 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

Being invited was like winning the food blogging lottery. The rewards: the memories, the new friendships, the amazing tastes, unforgettable stories and awe inspiring dishes.

You and Todd are my heroes. Love, Brooke

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16 matt wright August 25, 2008 at 10:19 am

Danika and I both had an amazing time! The food was incredible, and the company out of this world. Mangosteen is now our new favorite fruit!!

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17 xoBeau August 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

Yummy! What a feast!

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18 Barb Derksen August 25, 2008 at 10:43 am

Hi there, I JUST found your blog – LUCKY ME! Wow, I really should have had breakfast before visiting. LOL

At any rate, I am hoping you can help me. I was given a package of Chinese Rice (stick) noodles yesterday, by our friend who owns a Chinese restaurant. She tried, in her broken english, to explain how to use them, but it was not very clear. I thought I would have no problem finding info on them on the internet, but alas, I’m not finding anything at all!

I have taken three photos of the package she gave us, I’m HOPING you might know what these are and how I might use them? The three photos are on my Flickr – at this link:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3004/2796389815_e88ae7ac4e.jpg?v=0

I’d LOVE It if you’re able to help, I’d hate for them to go to waste!
I look forward to visiting your blog again!

Barb From BC Canada

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19 Tony August 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

I’ve been calling US airways all morning and apparently they’re experiencing “unusually high call volumes” and cannot take my call at this time….. argh… I can’t believe I couldn’t make it out there :-\ It looks like you all had a BLAST. I ended up going to the farmer’s market and added to my (small) garden… you’d be proud, haha!

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20 Barb Derksen August 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

sorry, all three photos are HERE:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25623482@N00/

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21 Barb Derksen August 25, 2008 at 10:46 am

Sorry, the THREE pics are at THIS address the other was for only one of the pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25623482@N00/

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22 Allison August 25, 2008 at 11:29 am

Son and I had such a wonderful time at your party! Oh my goodness, the food was AMAZING… will recipes be posted? Please? :D And then, of course, the people! Todd and Diane, you did an excellent job at finding great bloggers to invite – everyone was so much fun to meet and talk to.

I loved how you were able to get us all cooking and harvesting herbs from your garden… and how everyone was so happy to help out! We were like one big family… which was a WONDERFUL feeling.

Thank you Todd and Diane, for hosting such a fantastic party!

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23 sharon August 25, 2008 at 11:47 am

Hmm, remind me never to leave town again! Looks like an amazing party and hope I’ll be able to join one in the future! :) I’m not sure which food item I should comment upon because it all looks incredible!!

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24 Wandering Chopsticks August 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Lady, you’re too much. I haven’t even downloaded my photos yet! Thanks again for such a great dinner. So this is gonna be a regular weekly event right? ;)

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25 Julie August 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm

You guys (or kids as I like to say) sure know how to throw a party! Todd and Diane, What a genuinely warm and inviting couple. Your enthusiasm is just contagious and your garden enviable. Shilpa and I had such a wonderful time stuffing ourselves silly and the company… oh where do I even begin? Even the doggies were on their best behavior, charming the pants off of everyone. Thanks so much!

I’m calling it now so nobody hogs all the fun… I get to do the dishes next time!

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26 matt August 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

There really are no words to thank you for such an amazing time. It’s all we can talk about. And meeting everyone?

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone was so wonderful and Todd worked it out like nobody’s business! I could have stayed there all night!!!!!

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27 Kalyn August 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I’m so sorry I missed it! It sounds like a wonderful time and what a great bunch of bloggers too. Someday soon I will make it to LA!

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28 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) August 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Looks like one fabulous party!!

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29 Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy August 25, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Wow! What a fabulous day you all had! I wish I could have been there. :( The food looks absolutely wonderful, but I had no doubt of that. I’m looking forward to the next one! ;)

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30 alexandra's kitchen August 25, 2008 at 10:00 pm

I am so incredible jealous. what a feast. I worked for a Vietnamese chef when I lived in philly, and he would whip up the most incredible meals. i particularly miss the fresh rice noodles. since moving to socal, I have yet to eat any Vietnamese. i’m going to have to scour your blog to find some recommendations.

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31 mikky August 26, 2008 at 6:18 am

oh my… looks like you guys had so much fun… cheers!!! :)

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32 Lisa August 26, 2008 at 9:25 am

Looks like you all had a great time and everyone left with full bellies.
Sometimes I wish I lived closer to the West coast *sniff*.
Thanks for sharing with us. We are all now officially jealous!

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33 Cynthia August 26, 2008 at 10:57 am

I would have been in heaven at this party. This post makes me wish I lived in your neck of the woods! Here’s to many more parties!

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34 Gregory Cooke August 26, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Wow, I stumbled across your site and this page, from mattbites, and what a party! How do I sign up for the next one? Guess I better start blogging!

How great to see this going on in my own back yard! Just super duper!

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35 Christine D. August 26, 2008 at 1:03 pm

What a party! Fantastic food and delicious people! I mean… well, either way I guess!
Hmm, now I’m eyeing the bag of “slightly sweet” rolls on my counter. I’ve been wanting to make sliders all summer.

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36 shayne August 26, 2008 at 5:39 pm

oh man I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, wish I could have been there every thing looks and sounds so wonderful. I may steal a few ideas from you for my blogger party mext month.

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37 Hélène August 26, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Super! I wish I could have been there. I’m alone on my Island that blog. Snif. You guys did a wonderful job and the food look out of this world.

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38 Mike August 27, 2008 at 3:10 am

That looks like quite a get together! I wish FL was closer to CA so that I could have made it over!

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39 Bellini Valli August 27, 2008 at 5:26 am

I would love to join you. Sounds like an amazing time and what better way to get passionate foodies together that to cook together:D

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40 bee and jai August 27, 2008 at 10:30 am

glad to hear you had a blast!!! you guys can beat an restaurant hands down. that is some classy food dished up by some classy folks!!!

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41 Nate August 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Man, I wish I could have been there, but we were still in Hawaii that day. Hope to meet up with you soon when we drive down to OC in a couple of months! Food Blogger meetups are so cool.

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42 kate August 27, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Diane … you know i’ll still knocking myself in the head for not being there ! cant believe i missed the party of the year ! u should really move to Africa ! or give me a room in your house … i’m gr8 help around the kitchen ! Im Asian too .. i was brought up helping around the kitchen !
The party n da food looks mesmerizing. Thanks for sharing !

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43 lifeinrecipes August 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

This post was like reading a great big hug. What a very cool gathering of passionate, like-minded, creative folks. Gathering, cooking, eating, drinking. Beautiful stuff going on. Sorry about the hangover – looks like it was worth it.

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44 Dee August 28, 2008 at 2:34 am

Sob! Why do I have to live on the other side of the planet! I love parties, and it looks like yours was a winner. It’s half five and I’m starving but have been working all day so haven’t cooked. Waaa… was thinking of a simple sandwich, but after drooling over your amazing spread I’ll have to go out for something amazing. See what you made me do? ;)

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45 Andrea August 28, 2008 at 9:07 pm

What a wonderful party! I can only imagine how fun it was to cook with other food bloggers. Must plan something like this for the DC bloggers…

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46 Gastronomer August 29, 2008 at 12:31 am

NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE! China’s cool and all, but man, this looked AWESOME. I can’t wait to attend the next one.

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47 Gastronomer August 29, 2008 at 12:35 am

Oh, and have a great trip to Vietnam :-) I like that place.

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48 Precious Pea August 29, 2008 at 5:57 am

WOW WOW WOW! Lots of great food and most importantly, the great company! It’s always nice to meet up fellow bloggers over food. We do it quite often in Malaysia too.

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49 RecipeGirl August 29, 2008 at 6:30 am

Oh my gosh, I’m completely jealous. I’m putting my house on the market today, and I’m moving to LA so I can hang out with you guys.

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50 Lil August 29, 2008 at 6:40 am

*snif* i want to be there too!!!!!! it looks so much fun, all the food, great company and SUNSHINE!

one of these days, i’m going to get my BBQ going, despite the weather (which is all gloom and dreary even in august) and have a bash. maybe after my thesis submission. mean time, got to work on silly thesis again… /sigh

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51 Lori Lynn August 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I love the story of new friendships, and the food ain’t too bad either.
Came here from Marvin’s blog…

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52 Traca (Seattle Tall Poppy) August 31, 2008 at 9:03 pm

What a lovely evening! Great food, wonderful company and the photos are fab! Would love to learn more about that fig balsamic. YUM!

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53 Donald September 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Wow guys! This was one for the books, for real. I really wished I could have attended.

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54 noobcook September 2, 2008 at 9:20 pm

This looks like the greatest party ever – with perfect food, and perfect company :D What a feast!!

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55 Pat September 3, 2008 at 11:21 am

What a faaab idea!! Bummed I don’t live in your neck of the woods but you’ve inspired me to host a blogger party of my own … err … if there are any food bloggers here on the peninsula.

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56 Chez US September 3, 2008 at 11:46 am

What an outstanding job you all did! Everything looks so fantastic & very professional! We are sorry to have missed it. Next time!

xx oo
D

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57 Miss.Adventure September 4, 2008 at 6:01 am

Hi,
I just saw pictures of your garden on Wandering Chopstick’s post. It looks amazing. I just looked at your garden pics on your site – what a variety! I wish I lived in California weather so I could grow all sorts of interesting fruit! And the food looked great too!

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58 Bren September 7, 2008 at 7:26 am

amazing!! yet so sad to think i was sitting stuck in the chicago airport while you all were feasting and throwing food at each other! how awesome. please keep me posted on the next one!!

PS: did you get your shoes yet??? :)

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59 Valisa September 8, 2008 at 12:31 am

Huzzah! Now that’s what I call a PARTY!

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60 Simply...Gluten-free September 11, 2008 at 9:10 am

I am so sorry I missed it. Damn me for choosing health over a great time! I am so coming for the next one. You are amazing hosts.

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61 swirlingnotions September 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm

WAaaaah, I’m so bummed I wasn’t there for the partay!!! I’ll tell you, from the looks of the food and the gracious atmosphere, it sounds worth a flight from northern cal! Glad you guys all had such a great time . . .

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62 fasteddy November 25, 2008 at 7:26 pm

What a great blog! I submitted it to StumbleUpon. Hope you get lots of hits. You deserve them.

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63 Star January 22, 2009 at 7:02 am

such a real story..

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